St. Cecilia's Newsletter

08 June 2019
Issue Eight
Upcoming Dates
Principal's Report
Deputy Principal Report
Senior Camp- Sovereign Hill
  Arrowsmith Program News   
Art News
Student Wellbeing
Sustainability & Gardening
Look what's been going on..
St Cecilia's Primary School
(03) 9809 2142
4 Van Ness Avenue
Glen Iris, Victoria, 3146

Upcoming Dates

Saturday 8th to Monday, 10th June

Queen's birthday long weekend


Tuesday 11th June

Gardening for Foundation and Year 1 classes


Wednesday 12th June

Visit by Melbourne Football Club players to the Year 3 / 4 classes from 2:15 to 3:15pm


Thursday  13th June

Year 5 / 6 Inter School Sport- Ashburton- Away


Friday 14th June

Assembly at 3pm in the hall





Tuesday 18th June

First Reconciliation ceremony at 7:30pm in the Church


Wednesday 19th June 

9am til 12pm 

Whole school and Special Group photos

eg Buddies, choir, Leadership roles


Thursday 20th June

Year 5 / 6 Inter School Sport- St Michael's - Home


Friday 21st June

Assembly at 3pm in the hall






Monday 24th June

Year 5 / 6 Expo day in the Hall based on their History Inquiry unit learnings from Term 2


Wednesday 26th June

Health and Well-Being day

fun activities & healthy food


Thursday 27th June 

Year 5 / 6 Inter School Sport- Hartwell- Away

Parent Teacher Interviews  1:30 to 8pm


Friday 28th June

Last day of Term 2

Sacred Heart feast day Mass at 9:15am

Clothing collection for St Vincent De Paul

Student/ Parent Netball match

Principal's Report

Guided Learning Walks for Parents

Dear Parents,


This week we trialled our first Guided Learning Walk for Parents.  This walk involved a facilitator, some staff members and some parents.


A Learning Walk is more than just a school tour.


What is a Guided Learning Walk for Parents?
It is an invitation to parents to come to the school for a set period of time to be led on a
facilitated and structured learning walk of the school/ classrooms during the school day. Not
to look at the decor - but to learn more about the learning that is happening. The focus of the
structured walk is children and their learning as opposed to teachers and the teaching.

Each learning walk can have a topic or theme. The purpose is more about giving parents an
opportunity to witness what the “real” learning looks like. These are also not about a parent
sitting in and observing their child...but to learn more about a topic or the school through
observing learning in action. Following the Learning Walk, the group would sit down to a
more “in depth community conversation” about what they've observed.

Why host Guided Learning Walks?
To create another opportunity to build, improve and strengthen parent engagement in their
children’s learning….creating true partners in education and as another step in knocking
down the walls that often exist between home and school.


Please stay tuned for information regarding our next Guided Learning Walk for Parents. I will advertise the next walk soon. Ideally, we would like to run two walks a term. 


In short, when families are engaged in learning at home and school, students do better and schools get better. 


More information to follow!






Some parents are still encountering problems in sharing CareMonkey profiles between an organisation (sports clubs and school, etc.) You can use CareMonkey with multiple organisations eg. school, scouts and clubs. You MUST use the same email address with each organisation in order to manage everything in one account. If a second organisation is sending CareMonkey requests to a different email address, contact them to update the email address they have for you for using CareMonkey.


Mid Year Function

Congratulations on a very successful Mid Year Function. Special thanks to Niki Judd and Nikki Slattery for their unbelievable effort to coordinate such a wonderful night. 


We have received some fantastic feedback from a sensational night that has helped to raise some funds for our school, as well as provide a wonderful chance for our parents to relax and mingle with other parents.  




St. Cecilia’s is, once again, hosting its annual Grade 6 Students v Grade 6 Parents netball game(s) at lunchtime on Friday 28 June 2019 to celebrate the end of the semester. 

We would love to see grade 6 parents get involved and support this event once again, after the competitive fun and success of last year. 


There will be prizes on the day for the best performing parents and student players and the perpetual trophy is up for grabs once again. 


If you are able to play, could you please contact Justin Foster on 0402826845 or to advise of your availability. 

School Concert

School Concert date has been set as

Friday 6th September (Term 3 Week 8).

We have booked the Besen Centre  87/89 Station St, Burwood.

More info to follow.


Provisional Psychologist

We have secured the services of a provisional psychologist who has already commenced. Rhiannon will be with us until November. If you wish for your child to access this service, please contact Kate Sutherland via her email:


Holiday Drama Club


Senior School Camp

A big thank you to all involved in a highly successful Senior Camp last week, particularly to the Senior Teachers, Miss Louise and Mr Griffith. We have received very positive feedback from many different people about the behaviour of the students, the quality of the camp and the supervision of all. 

School camps provide our students  with the opportunity to work with our staff, that will nurture experiential education, build intergenerational relationships and result in a different style of learning. Our staff involvement is, of course, vital to every successful camp, with the bonds between students and teachers strengthened away from the classroom.


Our camp leaders, Miss Louise, Mr Griffith, Mrs Csaplar, Mr Johnson, Miss French, Mrs Whiting and Mrs Sutherland were equipped to convey teachable moments in a variety of settings whilst also developing and building upon personal competencies, such as team building, and leadership skills, the ability to overcome limitations and a growth in confidence.

So thank you to those staff members, for your work and leadership last week. And thank you also to the remaining staff who may have had to make some adjustments to their week in order for our camp to go ahead.


But most of all, we would like to congratulate our senior students, who magnificently represented their school across the 3 days. It is always so pleasing to hear that the experiences we provide are embraced so fully and that our students make the most of these wonderful opportunities. 

So thank you to all inolved for a sensational 2019 Senior camp!


When we speak about our school values, we speak of: 


Faith – We live faith-filled lives and give thanks daily

Acceptance – We respect and embrace the community

Compassion – We care and do what is right and just

Excellence – We strive for and celebrate every success


Have a great weekend everyone,




Deputy Principal Report

The Drop Off Zone

After recent complaints from neighbours, the Parking inspector came last week and gave fines to people who remained in the Drop Off Zone for too long (instead of doing a lap of the block if their children did not come out quickly),  those who "hovered " on the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Hillside parade and those who ignored the No Standing signs on both the north and south side of the intersection of Hillside Parade and Van Ness Avenue. 

In order to maintain safety for all concerned and a good flow of traffic in the streets around our school, I am repeating this article about the Drop Off Zone and we ask that everyone follows these recommendations and informs all family members about them. Often grandparents who are unaware of the system, inadvertently cause problems such as happened on Wednesday of this week- when a grandma parked right in the middle of the Drop Off Zone and went into the school to collect her grandchild. 

Regards, Karen Whiting.


1.  It is not OK for anyone to "hover" on the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Hillside Parade.  If you are caught in this position, we ask that you do  a lap and come around again.


2. Do not park past the No Standing signs - the last pole in the drop Off Zone or near the corner of  Hillside Parade and Van Ness Avenue. 


3. Everyone should park as close to the kerb as possible to allow traffic to flow freely along Hillside Avenue. 


4. Cars need to move up as other cars pull out. Around 7 cars can fit- if we all move forward and do not leave too much space in between the cars.


5. You must be very careful when pulling out,  as Hillside Parade is a narrow street with cars going each way.


6. Please remind all family members that they should not park the car and leave it unattended in the Drop Off Zone as this causes a great deal of congestion. Please tell grandparents and carers about this too! 


7. Families should not drive through or park in the church circular driveway as students walk through this area both before and after school.


Earn and learn

Thanks to all your efforts, we have already collected more than 3,000 stickers for the  Earn & Learn program.  If you or your extended family shop at Woolworths between 1st of May and the 25th of June you can earn stickers. These will then be swapped for new school equipment; things like art and craft supplies, sports gear, teaching aids, and more.

NB You may need to ask specifically for the stickers at the checkout.

Please ask your child to stick them in their booklet and drop the filled booklets in to our collection box, which is located in the school office. 

Thanks for helping out!


Gardening at St Cecilia's

You may have noticed that gardening days are changing at the moment and that the children are a little bit muddy after their lessons!

Anna Clarkson, our Gardening and sustainability teacher, has a job at a Secondary School as well as St Cecilia's and has been attending some camps and professional Development day therefore, she needed to change her days. Generally they are on a Wednesday or Thursday but in the next few weeks, some classes may have sessions on a Tuesday.

As always, the students are enjoying working with Anna  in our school garden. Currently they have been collecting leaves to create compost  and ensure there are enough nutrients in the soil. They have also been planting some seedlings and have been rewarded for their efforts by seeing crops of onions, bok choy and red chilli peppers.

You might like to visit the garden with your children to see the produce or buy some from the office for a gold coin donation.


Georgia Davies, one of our Year 5 Sustainability leaders, is planning to run a colouring competition to raise money for the garden.

Entry to the competition is 50 cents and there is one picture for students from Foundation to Year 2 and another more detailed one for Years 3-6. This will be explained at a Friday assembly.


Reports, Portfolios & Parent Teacher interviews

At St Cecilia's, we have two formal written reports per year- one in June and one at the end of the school year. The teachers are writing the half-yearly Reports for each student. They are also collating work for Portfolios which contain work samples across various curriculum areas. We look forward to meeting with you at the Parent Teacher Interviews which will be held on Thursday, 27th June between 1:30pm and 8pm. Appointment times will be set up closer to the date using the online booking process.

Year 5 / 6 camp at Sovereign Hill & History Expo (Mon 24th June)

Last week I was lucky enough to join the Year 5 and  6 students and their teachers on camp at Sovereign Hill. The students were so beautifully behaved, co-operative, inclusive and respectful of each other -that it was a very enjoyable experience for staff and students alike. They also learnt a great deal about our History and we will all  have a chance to learn from them at their History Expo in the Hall on Monday 24th June.  All parents are invited to attend this Expo and to ask questions of the Year 5 / 6 presenters.

Each class throughout the school will also be scheduled a time to visit the hall.


Melbourne Football Club

Next Wednesday, 12th June some members of the Melbourne Football club will be visiting the Year 3 / 4 students once again. They are coming to follow up on the use of some booklets that were given to these classes. The booklets contain activities relating to being grateful for all that we have, being positive and regularly recording our thanks in a diary type format -in order to develop resilience and a positive approach to life. 

Friday Assemblies

Due to  a number of recent events in the hall, we have missed some of our Friday assemblies but we will have one on the next few Fridays at 3pm (Fri 7th, 14th and 21st June) and have included the dates on the calendar and in the Upcoming Dates section of this Newsletter.

Whole School Photo

Our whole school photo and special group photos are scheduled for Wednesday 19th June from 9:15 to around 12pm. This includes the Foundation students and their Buddies, the choir etc.  We hope that everyone can be at school on that day!

Health and Wellbeing day

On Wednesday, 26th June Kate Sutherland is organising a Health and Wellbeing day with healthy foods and activities such as Yoga and fitness classes. Further details to follow.

Student versus Parents netball match

On the last day of Term 2 at around 1:30pm, there will be a Student versus Parents netball match held on the SCG for the entertainment of the school community!

Foundation Woodwork incursion

On Monday 27th May as part of their Term 2 Inquiry unit on the uses of various materials,  all the Foundation students participated in an incursion.  This involved using simple tools and wood to make little windmills with interconnected moving parts. They had great fun as they followed the design plan and created their windmills.




The next important dates are as follows:


NB Parents of Year 3 students

Tuesday, 18th June from 7:30 to 8:30pm:

The sacrament of First Reconciliation ceremony will take place in the Church. The ceremony consists of a group celebration of forgiveness with Readings and prayers followed by individual Reconciliation for the students.

NB Parents are also welcome to receive the sacrament (after the students). 


NB Parents of Year 4 / First Communion candidates

Monday 22nd July from 7pm to 8:30pm:

First Communion ( Year 4) Parent/ student information/ activity night


Sunday, 20th October at 10am:

First Communion ceremony (Year 4)


NB If any students are in Years 3 - 6, who are new to the school and have not yet received any of the sacraments, please contact me (Karen Whiting) at :  so we can make arrangements.

Social Justice: St Vincent De Paul Society

Each year in Winter, St Cecilia's has a tradition of collecting items of non-perishable food, blankets, coats, bathroom products and items for babies. These are placed in labelled boxes in the hall and the St Vincent De Paul Society members of our parish arrange for their distribution to needy families of Melbourne. We ask you once again to have a clean out at home and if you have any of the above items or can buy some extra food at the supermarket, please leave your donations in the hall.

We will have a whole school Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday 28th June (the last day of Term 2) and this will be a practical example for the children of how we can be like Jesus and show God's love for others. Thank you in anticipation for your generosity.

Regards, Karen Whiting.

Father Kevin's birthday

If you see Father Kevin you might like to wish him a happy 60th birthday -which he celebrated on Saturday, 1st June. Congratulations to Father on reaching this special milestone!

We are very grateful to him for all his work in our parish- especially our sacramental programs and school Masses such as the Grandparents' day Mass which was a great example of families passing on their faith from one generation to the next! Thanks to Father Kevin it all ran very smoothly -in spite of the huge crowd which filled the church to capacity!

Senior Camp- Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill Camp
by Rishi Kulkarni 


Sovereign Hill Camp

Sovereign Hill Camp was undoubtedly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I not only managed to learn an incredible amount about the gold rush, but also have fun and enjoy myself with my friends.  Every aspect of it was wonderful, and it was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.


After a very good day, on the first night, we had Red Faces. We had been practicing for weeks at school, and there were some very good acts that would be hard to beat. We decided to go 4th. We pulled through with a score of 34/40, and were winning at the time. Lots more acts poured through, but none beat us, though some came close. We won and received a bag of lollies.

The next night, we were shown a pantomime, which started with a magic show that was marvelous and funny, and left the audience, (which was us) applauding with enthusiasm. The main part was a remake of Beauty and the Beast, but it was actually a comedy, and by the end of it, we were red faced with laughter.


The final experience I have to share is the lightshow, ‘Aura’. It happened before Red Faces and the Pantomime, but because it’s so good, I had to save it until last. It was split up into three parts, and all three were spectacular. The first part consisted of a theatre show. We were all given 3d glasses, and it was about how gold came on earth. First it showed the earth forming, and later on, how gold came in meteorites.


For the second part, we were driven through Sovereign Hill in minivan-like vehicles. There was a breathtaking light show, showing Aboriginals beliefs. But last of all, there was another theatre and it showed how the English came to the land. Suddenly, the screen opened up, and in front of us was a massive scene of tents and campfires. Narrators proceeded to tell us about the history of the gold rush, and moved on to the Eureka Stockade.


Overall, camp helped me understand what life was like on the goldfields, and how they lived. I learned about the history of the gold rush. Camp is a wonder I will never forget, and it will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Rishi Kulkarni



Sovereign Hill Camp
by Karina Rizk

On Monday the 27th of May all the Year 5s and 6s went to Sovereign Hill for camp. All throughout camp the weather was unbearable, it was freezing! All of us had an amazing time going to stores and learning new things about the goldrush.


One of my highlights was watching the light show which was called Aura. First we went in a cinema, we got given 3D glasses. We watched how gold was made, it is made by molten rock. Funnily enough, because it was 3D, all of us were trying to catch the rocks that were flying everywhere. Next we went into a trolley that lead us to a viewing platform. On the hill in front of us there was a light show, it was about the people who first owned the land. These are the Wadawurrung people. The final stop on the trolley trip was an incredibly interesting outdoor show. That show was all about the gold rush, we all found it really fascinating.

Another highlight of mine was panning for gold and buying items from the stores. Sadly, I couldn’t find any gold on my pan, however it was such a fun experience to try and find some. Without a doubt, the lolly store visit was very productive. I bought two bags and a jar of raspberry drops and two umbrella lollipops. I also spent my money on chocolate liquorice and a brass keyring from the tinsmiths. After I spent all my money on that, I was only left with $1.


Camp was so much fun and I hope I can get the chance to go back there. Thank you to all the teachers who joined us and thank you to Ms Louise for organising it.

Karina Rizk

Sovereign Hill Camp
by Mia Hopkins

When we left for Sovereign Hill

It was so cold I got a giant chill.

There was an abundance of horses, there were mostly clydesdale

It mainly rained, sometimes hailed .

When we went to the school

there were many more than just one rule

I had to redo grade 3

My handwriting wasn’t too neat.

We had a go and wrote with pen and ink,

My eyes were so cold, I could barely blink

I learnt a lot

Like in the old days: they cooked most of their meals in a pot,

Above the fire

There was so much to admire

I could barely take in it all

When I saw the boiled lollies store

I thought to myself ‘If back then, would I pay half a crown

For a couple of raspberry drops, best in town

On the way back it snowed

there was a mighty wind that blowed.

We went to a swimming pool on a freezing day

It was worth it for the the fun and play

The gladiator pole was awesome

I won a couple I also lost some

In the end we had lots of fun

So many memories for everyone.

Mia Hopkins




More photos later on in this newsletter...




Arrowsmith Program News   

A special visitor...


The Arrowsmith kids had lots of interesting questions for Ollie.


Monet: Did any friend from St Cecilia came to your new school?

Ollie: No, but I made new friends and that was ok.


Lucy: Are you still good at Q Sense?

Ollie: After working on Q Sense, I find numbers a lot easier to keep in my head, they just make sense.


Oliver: What is your favourite subject?

Ollie: Art is my favourite subject; I enjoy making clay models.


Jack: Are you good at writing?

Ollie: My handwriting is a lot better after working on the word and tracing exercise.


Thank you for visiting Ollie!!!!

Art News

Self Portraits...


Student Wellbeing

My child is anxious, what do I do?...



by Michael Grose


If you’re the parent of an anxious child, you’re most certainly not alone. Millions of families all over the world are right there with you. Though it’s helpful to know, we understand that it doesn’t make the challenging role of parenting an anxious child any easier. What will is developing and deepening your understanding of childhood anxiety and the important role you play in helping them manage it.


While at first parenting an anxious child can feel overwhelming and difficult, I want you to think about it differently. Take a moment to recognise that you, your anxious child and your family have been presented with an opportunity. You can’t change what is happening right in front of you. You can’t undo it. What will help your anxious child to flourish, despite their anxiety, is first and foremost someone recognising they need assistance.


Noticing if your child is moving away from a more calm and relaxed persona to feeling more stressed, along with any accompanying behavioural change, is your cue to ‘watch and wait’ over time to see if these changes in fact point to anxiety.


What is anxiety?


Anxiety triggers part of the brain to fire up the fight-or-flight response or, as some aptly call it, the fight, flight, freeze or freak out response, to protect us from danger. It’s an emotion, and like other emotions it has a start, a middle and an end. Except when it doesn’t. That’s the experience for an estimated half a million plus Australian kids and 117 million worldwide experiencing an anxiety disorder. That’s how far reaching and common anxiety has become.


For these kids, their experience of anxiety doesn’t pass when the threat, danger or stressful situation has passed. The anxiety they experience can disrupt their day to day life and family life in both predictable and unexpected ways. Anxiety has the potential to stand in the way of kids being kids and their ability to enjoy the quintessential elements of a happy, relaxed, carefree, playful childhood; but it doesn’t have to.

Anxious kids have a brain that works really hard to protect them from danger. A part of their brain is similar to the sentinel among meerkats who is always on their tippy-toes watchfully assessing the environment for threats. This means that anxious kids spend an inordinate amount of time with their fight or flight response in full swing.

It’s not by choice. It’s exhausting, and not just for the kids. Whether the threat is real or imagined, the brain and body react in the same way. An oversensitive brain will protect, protect, protect, even if the ‘threat’ seems innocuous to everybody else, or possibly isn’t even noticeable. Once the senses signal to the brain that danger is apparent, it’s comparable to opening the floodgates. The anxiety cascade begins as does the fallout, making a hard job more challenging for parents of an anxious child.


How to know if your child is anxious

Anxiety exists on a continuum ranging from high calmness through to low calmness, mild anxiety through to high anxiety. This is different to the traditional view where anxiety is ‘present’ or ‘absent’. Noticing if your child is moving away from a more calm and relaxed persona to feeling more stressed, along with any accompanying behavioural change, is your cue to ‘watch and wait’ over time to see if these changes in fact point to anxiety. Similarly, helping your child move in the direction of calmness helps buffer against stress.


Signs and symptoms of anxiety are grouped according to their impact on children’s emotions and physiology, behaviour and thinking.


Emotionally and physically

It’s common for anxiety symptoms to be physical given the changes that happen in the body when the fight or flight response is triggered. These include chest pain or discomfort, nausea, sleeplessness, tiredness, regularly crying over small problems, rapid heart rate and often appearing nervous.



It’s hard for anxious kids to concentrate when they’re feeling worried. It’s equally challenging to concentrate when their body feels revved up like a race car that is stuck in the pits. It’s no wonder anxiety shows in behaviours such as excessive fear of making mistakes, perfectionism, avoidance of activities that they feel worried or scared about, refusing to attend sleepovers and many other behaviours.



As the minds of anxious children are often on the lookout for threats and danger, they’re thinking all the time: reflecting on events of the past, analysing situations and reactions from every angle, wondering what’s going to happen next and worrying. If there was a ‘Worrying Olympics’, anxious kids would be gold medallists. Worrying and overthinking is a sign of anxiety.


How to help

There is so much you can do as a parent or teacher to assist your child to better manage their anxiousness. Start with the following three approaches:


Learn how anxiety works
A thorough understanding of the physiology and psychology of anxiety, the events that trigger anxiety in your child and how your child typically responds is the most important step you can take. This knowledge will increase your confidence which, in itself, will be a considerable source of calm for your a child.


Give your child the tools to self-regulate
Anxiety won’t disappear on it’s own. Children and young people need tools to recognise and regulate their emotions so they are able to function when anxious moments appear. Self-management tools such exercise, deep breathing and mindfulness will reduce their dependence on you, allowing them to manage their anxious states. These lifelong skills are invaluable for anyone who worries or who has a tendency towards anxiety.


Develop a lifestyle that minimises anxiety
A child’s lifestyle also impacts massively on their anxiety. Anxiety management tools will never be totally effective until it’s supported by a lifestyle that promotes a healthy mind and body. These seven lifestyle factors in their own way decrease the likelihood of a child experiencing anxiety: sleep, nutrition and gut health, play and movement, green time, knowing their values, volunteering and fostering healthy relationships.


While parenting an anxious child is an emotional rollercoaster, try to see each day as an opportunity to build greater awareness and resilience in your child.


Each day is peppered with pockets of time in which you can extend your child’s understanding of anxiety, where it comes from and why, as well as guiding them to practise the skills that show their amygdala they’re safe, calm their nervous system and restore their thinking brain back into action.

Sustainability & Gardening

A Reminder...

A reminder to the school community to buy some onions or other produce at reception.


Plenty of parsley, celery, lettuce, spring onions.



A giant split carrot from the garden.


Look what's been going on..


St. Cecilia's Newsletter
FAQ's for School Parents 170907.pdf
Magic Twist Holiday Drama Club - July '19.pdf